Charles Tillman is widely known for his talents on the football field but the former Chicago Bears player has had just as big, if not more of an impact off the field.
Tillman earned recognition for his work away from the gridiron when he was named the 2013 Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year. Tillman was a finalist for the award in 2011 and had previously won the NFL Salute to Service Award in 2012.
Tillman's Cornerstone Foundation provides pediatric hospital patients with access to iPads, notebook computers, DVD players, portable Play Station game systems, and other electronic handheld games, to pass the time during recovery and treatment. Tillman and his wife, Jackie, also visit Chicago-area hospitals each December to pass out gifts, visit with families and partake in hospital activities, like bingo, to help spread holiday cheer.
Each spring more than 150 mothers of critically and chronically ill children are invited to attend a special brunch, honoring them for the sacrifices they make in caring for their ill child. The brunch will provide these women with the opportunity to "take a minute" for themselves and enjoy each other's company and support.
The Tiana Fund program provides assistance to economically at-risk persons or families in-need that will strengthen their ability to care for themselves, enhance their stability and security, and improve their quality of life or their ability to contribute to the community.
Tillman's legacy for football fans will always involve the "Peanut Punch" but what he's done since hanging up the cleats has made Tillman one of the most fan-friendly athletes in recent memory. An example of a player who not only achieved great success on the field but has done a great deal to help the surrounding community, Tillman is the prototypical type of character future NFL stars should model themselves after.
Interested in learning more about the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation? Check them out online.